I wish these Zema wines were just a little less overt. More elegance, tone down the oak and alcohol. This Zema Estate Family Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, for instance, is high silver medal quality, but it could be gold medal drinking with a little ‘less’.
Thick, oak-drawn, ripe and fudgy, a big hit of flavour in a mode that reminds me of Balnaves or Wynns reds twenty years ago. It’s vanillan, plump and more about being a big luscious red than a terroir piece, yet underneath the quality is undeniable, the tannins long, the power all there (and will only look better in time).
A powerful and verbose Coonawarra red, with my score a nod to what lies at the core. Best drinking: later. Give it three or four more years and then drink for fifteen plus. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $49.99. Zema website. Would I buy it? A glass.
Help keep Australian Wine and Drinks Review free
Rather than bombard you with ads or erect a paywall, I simply ask for a donation to keep this site running.
Donate here and help produce more brutally honest drinks reviews
I would not have thought that Zema Estates would have been lured by the siren calls of the lush, oak-driven style. Many years ago I visited their cellar door and quite liked their reds. Back then they were known as the only winery in the Barossa that practised manual harvesting. They were showing their 1999s and I bought a pair of the Cabernet and Shiraz. At the two decade mark I’m thinking it’s time to open a bottle of the Shiraz.